Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

6 Pro Tips for Shooting Great Website Videos

video cameraAdding video to your website is a powerful way to attract new business.

The clips can be short, simple and fun. Even quirky. I’ve seen effective videos of lawyers riding skateboards, walking dogs and swinging hammers on rooftops for Habitat for Humanity.

The only imperative is that it should tell your story, not sell your services.

“Today’s marketing has been on a shift from ‘showing off your assets’ to ‘tell me your story,” says Paulo Simoes, owner and creative director of Brios Media in Wake Forest. “We all know how to react to a sales pitch and we can easily recognize someone’s attempt to persuade us into buying their product. However, it is very hard to not listen to someone’s story.”

Another tip: if the video is long or takes forever to load, you’re better off without it.

6 Pointers for Award-Winning Videos

Simoes has worked in the film industry for 20 years – 17 of those with Sony Pictures. He now produces videos for law firms and other businesses. Here are some of his tips for Oscar-caliber videos:

  1. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. “Yes, there are moments and places where we should give a formal presentation of our businesses or ourselves that look and feel clean and professional,” says Simoes. “Being vulnerable is not washing our business laundry in public or highlighting all of our failures and deepest fears to prospects and clients. It’s about being real, authentic, and approachable. Vulnerability is key in developing relationships, including business. People relate better to people they like and trust. And yes, your clients are not perfect either. Vulnerability can lead to growth.”
  2. Embrace the sun. You’ve probably been told not to shoot into the sun. It will ruin the shot and your camera. Nonsense, says Simoes. The sun can create a warm look and feel to your project. Sun flares can add an interesting dimension.
  3. Watch your background. “When the subjects are too close to the background, the image can feel boring and plain. Try to create some distance between the two. A cluttered background can be distracting, so you may want to add or remove some objects to create a balanced and more natural frame. We do a lot of on-camera interviews, and we pay a lot of attention to backgrounds so that our subjects stand out and our attention is focused on them.”
  4. Pro lighting tips. Do your shots come out too bright or too dark? Follow these basic lighting rules. Don’t shoot with a window in the background. Add soft light in front of your subject to eliminate shadows from ceiling lights. Add soft light behind your subject to create an interesting silhouette. Lighting can be difficult to master, so experiment with different setups.
  5. Follow the Rule of Thirds. It’s boring to always place your subject in the center of the shot. Add interest with the Rule of Thirds. Divide the screen into nine quadrants by imagining two vertical lines and two horizontal lines. Place your subjects on the vertical lines or intersection points. Make sure there’s something interesting on the opposite vertical line for balance.
  6. Shoot horizontally. Eliminate the narrow bands on either side of your shot by shooting the picture horizontally. “Unless you’re taking a photo or video of someone standing, all your videos should be shot horizontally. It looks more pleasing to the eye. Think about the movies you watch at home or in the theater, even your computer or laptop – always displayed horizontally. Tablets and phone can be a great display, but they have to fill the whole screen.”

A final tip: there’s nothing wrong with DIY video. But if you want a professional product, hire a professional to do it.

Source: Brios Media

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations ( Contact or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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